Boys and Girls Clubs host ‘A Night at Monte Carlo’

If you’ve ever secretly longed to return to the La Belle Époque and Art Nouveau period in history, this is your chance. The Boys and Girls Clubs of Chaffee County will host an elegant “Night at Monte Carlo” for their annual Casino Night fundraiser on Saturday, April 21, at the Chaffee County Fairgrounds.

Now in their 13th year of providing care to the children of Chaffee County, the clubs’ staff members have served more than 6,500 youth ranging from ages 6 to 18 in that time period. Executive Director Brian Beaulieu explained the significance of past Casino Night events. “Casino Night has transformed hundreds of kids’ lives and made our clubs magnets for great investors, volunteers and partners. Great organizations attract great kids and great people. The more investors we have, the more lives we can change.”

The dance floor is likely to be hopping when Denver’s own 10-piece horn band Mass Hipsteria returns to the valley to provide music for Casino Night. The band draws inspiration from the great horn bands of the ’60s to the present day, playing classic and contemporary Motown, R&B, funk, soul and rock hits. Their sets include covers of Tower of Power, Earth Wind and Fire, Steely Dan and Stevie Wonder.

Casino games at the event feature blackjack, roulette and craps tables with community members egging on pure fun in a mock gambling setting. One of the highlights at Casino Night this year will be the rollout of the latest Boys and Girls Clubs video featuring Chaffee County kids sharing what the clubs mean to them. A cash bar will be available, and local caterer Michelle Gapp of Kalamatapit Catering plans to craft food for the evening. Live auction items include a Napa Valley wine tour, a financial planning portfolio consulting package from Cambridge Financial and an original cast iron sword art piece by club member Ethan Hansen.

Another highlight will be the honoring of Club Heroes Harry Brull and his wife, Myra Barrett. Beaulieu characterized the couple as dynamic, passionate, creative, generous and humble. “They are both pillars in this community, holding all of us up when we need it most. They bring out the best in all of us and inspire our board members and staff.”

Although individual donors continue to support the clubs in record numbers, state government and foundation support has dropped significantly. Beaulieu said the Boys and Girls Clubs hope to expand their STEM, prevention and health programs. “The cost of providing programming for one child, for one year, is approximately $1,100, yet our annual membership fee is never more than $50.”

Beaulieu described Casino Night as the clubs’ largest event of the year and said, “It’s a thank you to the folks who are changing the trajectory of hundreds of kids’ lives because of their belief in their future. BGCCC is the most vital youth development organization in our county. Casino Night is our chance to show folks how we can serve more kids in the most impactful way possible. Because our donors invest in our kids and programs, working parents and grandparents and guardians can take one worry off their plate.”

As always, costumes are encouraged for the event. So when planning for the Monte Carlo evening this year, think formal wear, top hats, peacock feathers, long gloves and can-can layers. Prizes will be awarded for the best attire.

Volunteers and sponsors are still needed for the event. Tickets for Casino Night are $25 each or $40 per couple in advance, and $30 each or $50 per couple at the door. Pre-event tickets may be purchased at the Salida Club, at High Country Bank or online at Doors open at 6 p.m. For more information or to donate time or money, contact Beaulieu at 719-539-9500.